Junior Achievement to present Hall of Fame awards tonight [Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa]
(Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (IA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 15--CEDAR FALLS -- Four local entrepreneurs will join Junior Achievement's Business Hall of Fame tonight.
Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa will honor Kevin Harberts, Jim Krieg and Jim Walsh for their business leadership and Chris Fereday as a Young Entrepreneur at the 19th annual Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa Business Hall of Fame event tonight at the Park Place Event Centre.
"What's really special about this event is it really epitomizes the best of our local business community, its entrepreneurship and integrity," said Christine Landa, president of Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa. "The caliber these honorees represent is best in class and serves as an example not only for young people but all of us that opportunity is there to truly contribute in a variety of ways to your company and your community."
Krieg is in his 11th year as general manager of Cedar Falls Utilities.
He cited a long list of mentors and groups whom he would be thanking in his acceptance speech tonight.
"Without those individuals and organizations supporting me, I wouldn't be receiving this award," he said. "We're so fortunate to be born into this country and have all the opportunities around us. Sometimes we have to show the young individuals the opportunities that are available to us and to them. If you know where you want to go and put a road map together to get there, you will get there. You just need to decide what you want to do and focus on that."
Walsh is CEO of VGM Group Inc. and president of JSA Development, which owns more than 40 properties in downtown Waterloo.
"I am very honored to be one of the recipients of the award this year," Walsh said. "You always wonder if you are doing the right things, but I guess I must be at least close."
Harberts, chief executive officer of Kryton Engineered Metals in Cedar Falls, said in an email note the honor came as a surprise.
"When I found out what was going on behind my back in regards to being chosen as one of the 2013 JA Hall of Fame winners, I was shocked," he said. "I actually had the lady from JA leave me numerous voice messages and I did not return them, as I thought she had me mistaken for someone else. I am humbled and honored to be selected, but this award is for everyone who works for me and that I have had interaction with over the last 30 years, as they all have had an impact in molding me into who I have become."
Fereday, 39, president of PDCM Insurance in Waterloo, said others deserve as much credit as he for the honor.
"I think it represents some of the work we've done as a team at PDCM," he said. "Sometimes you're the quarterback and, so, more visible, but it's a recognition of what we've done the last four or five years."
He said he was honored to be grouped with past winners.
"For me, over the last couple of years, to look at guys like Bill Bradford, Bryan Earnest and Dave LeCompte, I think it's inspiring to see what other winners have gone on to do," Fereday said.
Nominated by community members, all four business leaders were then selected by an independent committee.
According to JA, laureates are chosen based on the following criteria:
-- Impact on their industry or organization.
-- Integrity as an ethical business leader.
-- Commitment to bettering the community at large.
-- Leadership qualities, which allow them to be exemplary role models.
-- Entrepreneurial spirit in starting or significantly advancing local businesses.
About 400 people are expected to attend the black-tie dinner and presentations tonight, which would be a record turnout, Landa said.
"We're extremely pleased," she said.
The program will feature video biographies of each laureate. Students from local schools will serve as hosts, escorts and masters of ceremony to reinforce the purpose of the event, to inspire children to visualize success, Landa said.
(c)2013 Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa)
Visit Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) at www.wcfcourier.com
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